If you have ever wondered what your future may hold, the answer may be as simple as taking a visit to the local Davis Psychic.
Many may have seen the billboards along highway I-80 that lead the curious customer to the Davis Psychic, located on 414 E St. Services offered include a wide range of psychic services including palm reading, tarot cards, psychic readings, aura readings and crystal ball. An aura reading is a spiritual or psychic reading.
The Davis Psychic herself is actually Paula Marino, a fourth generation psychic who grew up in Santa Clara, California. She’s been in the psychic business for 33 years and in Davis for 20 years. Marino said she knew from a very young age of her special abilities.
“I was born psychic; it runs through my great-grandmother’s side through all the females,” Marino said. “Everyone expected me to have some ability and when I was young I was able to see things other children didn’t. As I got older I was able to channel my feelings in different directions.”
As part of a long line of psychics, Marino had the opportunity to learn the ropes as a child. She has no formal schooling or training, but enhanced her abilities by learning from her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother. Marino said she has also done research and read books about channeling, aura and past life.
Marino said she has also developed the ability to choose when to use her talents.
“I don’t want to use [psychic abilities] all the time, like at Wal-Mart, and pick up on people, I want to turn it on and off,” she said.
If you’re imagining Marino as a stereotypical mystical psychic, think again, Marino said.
“Some might assume psychics wear all black and conjure up spells, but some of us are normal people,” she said.
In addition to giving psychic readings Marino also enjoys cooking, baking, decorating, design and “artsy type things.”
Lauren Villa, a sophomore human development major, has been to several other psychics, but not yet to Marino.
“I love the ones who get really into it,” Villa said. “When they are all dressed up in glittery shawls, jewels, and the smell of incense in the air, a quick tarot reading won’t hurt, right?”
Marino said her job is like most others: she’s always busy and can get overwhelmed, but said that there is no real downside. The best part, she said, is working with and helping people.
“I’ve know people from when I first started, and we still keep in communication, that’s a wonderful part of what I do, building a relationship with people,” Marino said.
At the Davis Psychic, services offered include palm reading, tarot cards, psychic readings, aura readings and crystal ball with prices from $40 to $60.
“I pick up on [a client’s] vibrations and colors. Maybe their aura is dull or dark, maybe something happened to them, or bright and vibrant which means something is positive,” Marino said.
With such a range of services, skeptics may abound. Michael Phan, a junior psychology major is one such non-believer.
“If they were real they’d be buying lottery tickets and winning,” he said.
Even Villa who has frequented psychics is skeptical of their powers.
“[Psychics] have the façade of having magic fortune-telling powers, but it’s really just the ability to read people well,” Villa said. “I do think it’s cool though. Go to the right psychic and it’s almost like watching a magician put on a magic show.”
Marino said she does not have any problem with skeptics coming in for a reading.
“I tell them what’s happening and know at the end of the reading I’ve been open and honest with them,” she said.
Phan, however, has no interest in visiting the Davis Psychic or any other psychic in the near future.
“I don’t believe in psychics, so I wouldn’t go,” he said.
Customers are often skeptical at the beginning, but by the end many, yet not all, feel more open-minded and change their minds, Marino said.
TV shows such as “Medium” and “Psych” have dramatized the notion of psychics solving crimes and have popularized the field. Marino was once enlisted to help solve a crime, but she said she has stopped because she prefers to focus on the positive rather than negative. She does, however, support the many TV shows about psychics solving crimes.
“I think they’re really, really good. Everyone has a purpose, an ability … and there’s people out there that really do that,” she said.
Clients range from UC Davis students seeking advice about coming academic ventures to long time regulars and individuals from all over the state of California. Marino said that some “get intrigued” and come for curiosity and the fun of it while some seek answers to what the future looks like.
“People always want to reassure themselves that they made the right decision,” Marino said.
KELLY KRAG-ARNOLD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.